NIMH has issued an RFA on Clinical Pharmacotherapy for PTSD: Single and Collaborative Studies (R34). From the summary:
Purpose. The sponsoring agencies jointly issue this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to stimulate research grant applications focused on pharmacological treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Medications along a continuum of development and testing (i.e., exploratory compounds ready for human testing, medications used in other areas of medicine and thought to be useful for a new indication (PTSD), and psychiatric medications currently used off-label to treat PTSD) are appropriate as the focus of a research grant application in response to this FOA. The sponsoring agencies seek to advance PTSD pharmacotherapy research by providing resources to better understand feasibility, tolerability, acceptance, safety, possible efficacy and risk/benefit ratios pertaining to symptoms and symptom severity, side effects, and treatment gains in functioning associated with available and novel medications. The sponsoring agencies anticipate the results of such studies will help identify potential medications suitable for larger scale efficacy, effectiveness and services research studies.
Pharmacotherapy eh? Sounds like an opportunity for the clinical MDMA people does it not?
Back to the RFA, some additional rationale for the importance of this study, (since we're debating RFA-driven science and all):
Data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reveals that more than 240,000 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts have become eligible for VA benefits and that 20 percent of these new veterans have received health care at a VA facility since returning home. Possible mental disorders have been reported in 26 percent and the most common diagnoses were adjustment disorders, among them PTSD. Thus, effective PTSD treatment is a priority for the VA healthcare system for the newest generation of veterans as well as those with chronic cases of PTSD from prior deployments such as Vietnam.
With regard to pharmacotherapy, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two medications for treating PTSD in adults; sertraline and paroxetine, both selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. While data support the use of these medications, not everyone treated pharmacologically improves. Moreover, there appears to be poor correspondence between the PTSD treatment evidence-base and practices of clinicians. Data from limited but important surveys of treating clinicians reveals that physicians' preferred treatment of symptomatic persons is pharmacological treatment.
Well, if we had good solutions, they wouldn't be calling for more studies, would they?
Scientists: Among other duties, cleaning up after bad public policy decisions.